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Magazines > MultiMedia & Internet@Schools > January/February 2004
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Vol. 11 No. 1 — Jan/Feb 2004
NetWatch
by Kathie Felix, News Editor

News of the latest Net-related products and technology for K-12 may be sent directly to Kathie Felix at 5746 Union Mill Rd., PMB 605, Clifton, VA 20124 or to kfelix@infotoday.com.

Net News

Cyber Security for the Digital District

The Consortium for School Networking (CoSN) has launched a new program designed to provide education technology leaders and policy makers with strategies and tools to ensure the privacy of data and the safe operation of technology within school systems. The multi-year vendor-neutral program titled "Cyber Security for the Digital Distric," will provide a range of information. A white paper, "Cyber Security: Helping Schools Protect Their Technology Assets and Fulfill Their Educational Mission," is available on the project's Web site, http://www.securedistrict.org/. Future resources will include a toolkit to assist educators in understanding the issues around network security, explain the problem to other stakeholders, assess their own situation, and begin to reduce their risk; ongoing professional development with face-to-face "train the trainer" workshops; a Web tool to enable educators to self-assess their understanding of cyber security issues and compare their district's situation with other responders; a Webcast on cyber security for CoSN members and federal, state, and local policy makers; an asynchronous online course; and a compilation of case studies. The project is supported by education grants from SonicWALL, SurfControl, Symantec, Sun Microsystems, and Microsoft. CoSN, 202/861-2676 or http://www.cosn.org/.

Net Libraries

eLibrary

ProQuest has released eLibrary Curriculum Edition, a curriculum and reference service that provides one of the largest collections of periodical and digital media content designed specifically for secondary schools and libraries. The service provides more than 2,000 full-text magazines, newspapers, reference books, and transcripts, as well as thousands of pictures, maps, Web links, and audio/video files. The service includes ProQuest Learning, a comprehensive integrated literary resource for more than 150,000 original full-text works and more than 1,300 author biographies; the History Study Center, with more than 25,000 primary and secondary historical sources covering ancient to modern U.S. and world history; eLibrary general reference, with more than 1,600 full-text periodicals and more than 230 newspapers and newswires; and the ability to search these resources collectively or individually. Free trials are available. ProQuest, 800/521-0600 or http://www.il.proquest.com/.

Net Teaching

Online Reader

Online Reader provides an interdisciplinary database of articles and images from leading magazines and includes Lexiled reading material suitable for early readers through grade 12. The database complements existing reading programs and offers 4,000 selected articles for reading comprehension practice. Also included are tests with articles; thematic, comprehensive, standards-based teacher guides to build expository skills; automatic grading/feedback for tests; a grade book that allows teachers to assign materials according to individual student needs, create student/group profiles, and track progress; and a progress report that allows students to view reading assignments, tests, and their own reading achievements. EBSCO, 800/653-2726 or http://www.ebsco.com/.

Performance Series Updated

A Norm Reporting module has been added to Scantron's Performance Series assessment tool, allowing educators to compare student test results from Performance Series with results from students across the country. A standards-based online assessment, Performance Series delivers a unique test to each student based on her or his ability level. The resulting diagnostic data can be used to create individualized learning plans and evaluate how well the curriculum supports each student's ability to meet current learning standards. The series contains modules for mathematics, science, reading, and language arts. The new norm reference capability gives educators an additional benchmark for measuring student progress prior to the administration of high-stakes tests. Scantron, 800/722-6876 or http://www.scantron.com/.

Online SOL Tutorial

The Princeton Review has developed an online tutoring program for the Virginia Department of Education to help high school students pass the state's English: Reading and Research Standards of Learning (SOL) assessment, which is required for high school graduation. The customized online tutorial enables students to take tests aligned to Virginia's academic standards, receive feedback, and access resources for remediation. Initially, 800 seniors throughout the state who have yet to pass the reading test will have free access to the tutorial through the Princeton Review's Homeroom.com Web site. Upon successful completion of the pilot, the online tutorial
may be expanded statewide. Princeton Review, 212/874-0775 or http://www.PrincetonReview.com/.

Net Learning

Human Rights

The Human Rights 101 Web site [http://www.thirteen.org/edonline/hr101/] offers students insight into topics such as tolerance, racism, women's rights, refugees, and religious freedom and helps show students how they can become effective catalysts for change. The site serves as a launching pad for project ideas and helps students focus their interests and actively work for change. Students will find resources, volunteer and internship opportunities, and an interactive profile feature. The Human Rights 101 toolkit for teachers includes model projects, a list of PBS programs that address human rights issues, and complementary teaching resources. Thirteen/WNET, http://www.thirteen.org/.

Generation Link

EarthLink, the Internet service provider (ISP), has launched Generation Link, a nationwide, community-based initiative that helps high school students teach senior citizens how to use the Internet. The ISP has partnered with the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) to identify senior citizen centers or residential facilities where members or residents are interested in learning how to use the Internet. These locations are partnered with local high schools for a 6-week program during which the students teach the seniors the basics of logging on, using the mouse, using e-mail, researching issues of concern—from prescription drug coverage to baseball scores—and more. EarthLink, 404/748-7436 or http://www.earthlink.com/.

 


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